New Vans Mean New Adventures!

We have been quiet online for a year but have been far from doing nothing! for the past few years I have been a lone driver with one 6 seater car, what fun and games. But everything is about to change. We are starting on a new adventure starting with expanding which means new vans and new employees! Thankfully both are working out well. We have 2 brand new fantastic vans arriving the end of next month and I’m so excited to get out and see the beauties of the Highlands in them. They have full panoramic views including a glass roof, which would be amazing to view the aurora borealis while in the warmth and comfort of the climate controlled vans. No more cups of hot chocolate while freezing stood out in the middle of nowhere for me!

Now Iona Highland Tours has become a family run business! Which has long been a dream of mine. I am no longer a lone driver, My son in law, Mark, has decided to take on a new challenge and is now going to be driving one of the new vans when they arrive. I think his new challenge will be more likely to learn how to work with the stubborn women In the family, one of them being his wife and of course me also. So while Mark and I are out showing off the wonderful scenery we have chosen to live, my daughter, Mary, is working behind the scenes doing the admin and making sure we are where we need to be. I don’t think she realised how much work goes on behind the scenes but she is learning quickly and doing a grand job. Even if it does mean that she brings the zoo, I mean my beautiful granddaughters with her to work while they are on the school holidays and to add insult to injury I also added a new puppy to the family mix, which means she also has to walk a German Shepherd daily.

Well I am sad to say that it has been fun to share my adventures with you over the last few years but this is sadly my last post but don’t worry its not the last post from Iona Highland Tours. As I mentioned my daughter has taken over the admin which also means she has taken over the posts and blog so from now on it will be her posting.(Although I very well may sneak in an odd one myself from time to Time, but don’t tell her.)

Thank you for sharing this adventure with me and keep checking to see what happens next 🙂 as the story continues into hopefully many more chapters.

Wendy

Isle of Skye

Day trip to Isle of Skye.  Ok so I finally thought I had cracked the problem, of how to keep up my blog while making time to drive, show off the Highlands, keep up with bookings, diary and the other hundred and one things that need to be done.  Yesterday I bought myself an Ipad air, my old Ipad just ran out of space!  I also bought the keyboard to make it into a small laptop, I have WIFI in the car so hey presto while waiting for guests at Eillean Donan castle I write the blog.  I told you all about the sights I was seeing, the flowers still in bloom, the air still and mild at around 18c and the wonderful smell of the salty sea air that cannot be replicated in any room deoderiser, (no matter what they promise).

I even took a picture lol.  So what could go wrong, a good use of the waiting time, a job well done……except I lost it, lol it said saved, but I lost it.  so here I am at home having wasted half an hour trying to find it again and decided to give it up as a bad job and just write something else.

So without further ado,  here are a few of todays pictures on our tour to the Isle of Skye taken with the new Ipad.

image image image Isle of Skye Guests Ionahighlandtours.com image image

ionahighlandtours.com 2015

Ionahighlandtours.com has already got off to a good start, bookings are coming in at a reasonable pace and already we have had three tours this past two months, snow has fallen and made the highlands beautiful but a few tours cancelled as they couldn’t get here.  The deer are down and yesterdays tour to the Isle of Skye and Eilean Donan castle was particularly good with around hundred deer spotted over the day.  The weather in Scotland is as always unpredictable, so yesterdays tour had a couple of very heavy showers and mostly sunshine, so much so we enjoyed an outdoors picnic in the sunshine.

There are new calves around of the Highland cattle and any day now we should have some new lambs, I cant wait to see them always a favourite of myself and guests.

These are the pictures I choose of yesterdays tour I do hope you enjoy them.

returning from Isle of Skye the deer were all enjoying their supper

returning from Isle of Skye
the deer were all enjoying their supper

This stag on the Loch Carron road was just beautiful to see

This stag on the Loch Carron road was just beautiful to see

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All you need is a camera and you can bag as many deer as you like, these were all having supper on our way back from isle of Skye

All you need is a camera and you can bag as many deer as you like, these were all having supper on our way back from isle of Skye

 

Towards the end of our day to the isle of Skye. The sun was shinning, and scenery was stunning

Towards the end of our day to the isle of Skye. The sun was shinning, and scenery was stunning

looking for more carrots at Invergordon

looking for more carrots at Invergordon

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2015 Approaches – where did the time go?

2015 already, where did all the time go?  2014 has been a wonderfully busy year.  I have had such pleasure showing the Highlands off to everyone.  I made new friends met new people and even got given a new name!  to one particular guest I am now Miss Wendy, such a sweet family who I really enjoyed taking to Ben Nevis to see the snow.  A new tour was added called the Outlander tour which proved to be very popular, anyone who hasn’t yet read the Diana Gabaldon books really should, she has such a good take on the history of the Highlands and got the highlanders characters spot on.  I read all eight books and was so sad when I had finished them.  of course they have now made a TV series of it for those who don’t like reading.

 

Another new addition this year was to go to Oban and Glen Coe, unfortunately the weather didn’t allow for good pictures, on every occasion I have been it has rained, so my new years resolution is to go on the first sunny day we have and get some pictures.   We saw a lot of wild life, this past two weeks the deer have even crossed the road in front of us, of course as I am the driver I never have my camera to hand when I need it.

 

So as I wish you all a happy New year for 2015 I leave 2014 with just a few of these pictures, and look forward to posting new ones of all the new people I will meet this coming year.  I am so excited and looking forward to it.

 

Rainbow The Cuillins of SkyeLochness

view of the Grampians

view of the Grampians

Clootie well

Highland Cow

Highland Cow

Comando Monument Spean bridge. Grampians behind

Comando Monument Spean bridge. Grampians behind

2015 where did all the time go?

2015 already, where did all the time go?  2014 has been a wonderfully busy year.  I have had such pleasure showing the Highlands off to everyone.  I made new friends met new people and even got given a new name!  to one particular guest I am now Miss Wendy, such a sweet family who I really enjoyed taking to Ben Nevis to see the snow.  A new tour was added called the Outlander tour which proved to be very popular, anyone who hasn’t yet read the Diana Gabaldon books really should, she has such a good take on the history of the Highlands and got the highlanders characters spot on.  I read all eight books and was so sad when I had finished them.  of course they have now made a TV series of it for those who don’t like reading.

 

Another new addition this year was to go to Oban and Glen Coe, unfortunately the weather didn’t allow for good pictures, on every occasion I have been it has rained, so my new years resolution is to go on the first sunny day we have and get some pictures.   We saw a lot of wild life, this past two weeks the deer have even crossed the road in front of us, of course as I am the driver I never have my camera to hand when I need it.

 

So as I wish you all a happy New year for 2015 I leave 2014 with just a few of these pictures, and look forward to posting new ones of all the new people I will meet this coming year.  I am so excited and looking forward to it.

 

Rainbow The Cuillins of SkyeLochness

view of the Grampians

view of the Grampians

Clootie well

Highland Cow

Highland Cow

Comando Monument Spean bridge. Grampians behind

Comando Monument Spean bridge. Grampians behind

New Album of Lochness Photos

Lochness today was so pretty, with the sun shinning I decided to go and take some new photos with the new camera.  Lochness was really at her best, such clear blue water with the reflection of the deep blue sky.  We also stopped and took some pictures at the Caledonian canal, something I haven’t done yet, it was lovely to see a barge on it, I haven’t seen a barge for years. i

Lochness from Dores beach

Lochness from Dores beach

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Lochness

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Lochness Dores beach

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Dores beach

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original hand made nessie

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Urquhart Castle from Foyers side

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The Inn at Whitechapel

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The craft shop, Invermoriston

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Urquhart Castle

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Caledonian Canal

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Caledonian Canal

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Yellow submerine at Dromnodrochit used to search Lochness in past times

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Another boat used on Lochness

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Post on Comments – Tour enquiries

It has just come to my attention that some people have left enquiries in the comments box, for some reason these didn’t get emailed me so I have only just found them, I am so sorry for those who didn’t get a reply,  I am hopeful that this problem has now been sorted and that all post or comments will be received in a timely manner.   If you are making an enquiry for a tour please use the contact form as you will always get a quick response. of course you can always email me directly to wendy@ionahighlandtours.com

In the Highlands

Well here we are already at the end of June.  How quickly the summer is passing. The heather is in bloom, the mountains are lush and green, The waterfalls are running much smaller.  I know there is a myth that it always rains in Scotland but it really isn’t true, we do get our fair share of course but really no different to England.  Weather wise this past week we have had lovely warm sunshine and blue skies, a little rain overnight on occasion, which is what keeps the greenery green.  July is promising to be busy with quite a few tours booked and some new places to go.  Oban is the new Isle of Skye it seems this week, I cant wait, I haven’t seen Glen Coe for a few years so i am quite excited to be going and seeing the wonderful scenery and of course taking some new pictures.

This week some of my guests walked to the top of the old man of Storr on the Isle of skye so they took my camera and took some wonderful pictures for me.  Other guests chose to go to the Cardhu distillery, a lovely place to go to.

Isle of Skye, old man of Storr

Isle of Skye, old man of Storr

Rising from the sea bed is molten lava Isle of Skye

Rising from the sea bed is molten lava Isle of Skye

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Cardhu Distillery

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Cardhu distillery

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View from the Old man of Storr, Isle of Skye

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molten lava, Isle of Skye

This week so far! Isle of Skye tours

What a week its been so far,  some wonderful trips to the Isle of Skye, Eilean Donan Castle, and even got to take some pictures looking on to Uig.  We stopped at all the usual places, Kilt Rock and Urquhart Castle,

The weather has been wonderful for the most part, but we have had some heavy showers on occasion,  as usual it didn’t stop us doing anything and it tended to rain while we were driving so we didn’t even get wet.

Here are the pictures enjoy them.

Eilean Donan castle is now on my car

Eilean Donan castle is now on my car

Picnic in amazing scenery

Picnic in amazing scenery

The Quaraing is a wonderful place for walking.

The Quaraing is a wonderful place for walking.

Looking down on Uig,

Looking down on Uig,

Lochness

Lochness

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Lifting out of the Sea near Kilt Rock Isle of Skye

Lifting out of the Sea near Kilt Rock Isle of Skye

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Looking back over the Highlands from the Loch Carron road.

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Guests on the way home

Guests on the way home

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Loch Carron

Loch Carron

Isle of Skye Cuillins are wonderful.

Cuiliins of Skye

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The Heather is in Bloome

The Heather is in Bloome

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Out and about with ionahighlandtours.com

What a start we have had to the new season, out and about with ionahighlandtours.com to the Isle of Skye, Eilean Donan Castle, Ben Nevis, Lochness, Falls of Foyers. Cawdor Castle, Clava Cairns and of course Culloden battlefield too mention just a few of our most popular destinations.

Guests have enjoyed feeding the calves and cattle with carrots, and getting to be hands on with the wild life, we have seen wild goats, white tailed sea eagles,  deer and many other wonderful things nature in the Highlands of Scotland has to offer.

The yellow gorse has been a wonderful reminder summer is coming,  We had such a show this year, the blue bells covering the ground were amazing and gave everything a blue/purple sheen as you looked from a distance.

Having had a dry winter, we found ourselves wet in spring but not enough to spoil anything, it made the waters falls fuller and a joy to see, and all the greenery looked more vibrant because of it.

Many new friends made and how wonderful it is to see so many people enjoying the wonderful sights of the Highlands, I am so spoiled at having the pleasure of taking people around and showing them such beauty.

I bought a new camera, one that I am hoping will picture what I see and will give so much detail it will make everyone want to come and see it for themselves.  I am still very much learning how to use it but I am happy with the results so far, but decide for yourself as you look at the following pictures.

www.ionahighlandtours.com

Gypsy caravan on the grounds of Cawdor Castle,

Black house, Culloden Battlefield with ionehighlandtours.com

Black house on Culloden battlefield, one of the few examples with peat used on its walls,

Yellow Gorse in the Scottish highlands

Yellow Gorse covers the Highlands of Scotland

The cuillins of Skye   with ionahighlandtours.com

The Cuillins of Skye, taken from Eilean Donan castle

Scottish highlands with ionahighlandtours.com

Scottish Highlands

Loch Carron Road looking back towards Skye

Happy Guests on tour with ionahighlandtours.com with scenes like these why go abroad?